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Skull132

The Next Big Thing - The Official Write-up Boogaloo

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I am a bit split on this. On the one hand: If this works out well, it would be awesome. I love the idea (I actually toyed around with a similar idea a few months ago) and I support it.


On the other hand I must also echo what Burger said: We would have to do it better than persistence does it. Playing on that server is a slog and I would hate it if this project turned into a similar mess.


So, yeah, a cautious +1 from me...

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I'll be honest, my first reaction was aversion to change. I've been with Aurora from day 1, and there hasn't been a change this big before. However, I'm...tentatively optimistic about it. I just have a few concerns/questions.


Firstly, how will a persistent economy work? Does your account get credited a job-appropriate amount per each round you're alive for at the end? How do antagonists influence the economy? Will HoPs be able to set salaries?


Will z-levels still be a thing? And if so, how deep will the planet be able to be dug out for mining? Will cave-ins be a concern? Will dug out tunnels stay persistent?


How will antagonists be handled? If an antag builds a base or whatever, is it rolled back when the round ends?


And lastly, I assume all our whitelists will stay intact?

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I'll be honest, my first reaction was aversion to change. I've been with Aurora from day 1, and there hasn't been a change this big before. However, I'm...tentatively optimistic about it. I just have a few concerns/questions.


(1) Firstly, how will a persistent economy work? Does your account get credited a job-appropriate amount per each round you're alive for at the end? How do antagonists influence the economy? Will HoPs be able to set salaries?


(2) Will z-levels still be a thing? And if so, how deep will the planet be able to be dug out for mining? Will cave-ins be a concern? Will dug out tunnels stay persistent?


(3) How will antagonists be handled? If an antag builds a base or whatever, is it rolled back when the round ends?


(4) And lastly, I assume all our whitelists will stay intact?

 

1: Arrow's currently working on it. Too early to tell, though, so stay tuned.


2: Z-levels will more than likely be a thing. How many vertical and how many side-ways ones we'll have is to be determined. Though technically, with the current plans for terrain generation, we can just pick an arbitrary combination as long as we remain at roughly the same number of Zs we have now.


3: Antagonism specifics are a major question atm. The idea of antag base building was discussed, but not decision has yet been made. The features in question aren't currently slated for the first round of work.


4: Most likely yes. There is no present reason to strip or even modify them.

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I do have a question or two. How big will the initial base be, and how will persistence work with things like slimes in their slime cells and SM engines? Will power be set if it was set the round before or does engineering have to start it up every round? Will supplies be persistent or reset every round? And for the concern I see comparing us with that other station: I'm fairly certain our playerbase is big and established enough that we won't run into that issue, though I do wonder what will happen if there's a round without engineers. I like the idea of having to expand all facilities and having it be persistent, but it also brings a lot of side problems with it that will clash with that core concept, like the supplies and slimes questions above. If I think of more I'll post them.

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Let me just say that I think a new construction system would be awesome. The current one is fine but it could definitely be improved. I think a general issue with SS13 construction is magically shaping steel and glass in your hand to make whatever you want. There needs to be a mechanism for it, a tool. In Lifeweb's OS13, engineers utilize a somewhat ambiguous wrist-mounted tool to help them make repairs and do stuff, I think something like that would be appropriate.

Also, emphasis on using more materials. Maybe we should use some alloys, use some other metals. Copper, cobalt, nickel, et cetera.


Otherwise, I'm going to stress that we need to be careful about persistence. It can make it harder for newer players to jump in, harder to avoid meta, and it can create a lot of grief if we have people throwing off colony progression. At least with round by round play, its okay if people fuck up and ruin everything, its all over in a couple hours. We can't have lasting features turn into lasting mistakes.

Long construction times will make the game boring, but fast construction as it is now will create TONS of bloat if the server is persistent. Imagine all the ramshackle autism forts!

This "initial colony" will likely have reduced features and I share Resilynn's concern that some departments may be forgotten about. That could prove to be a rocky start for many of us.

I also think that the amount of admin control over this colony will have to be immense, as well as very consistent in rulings. I wonder if we're capable of that.

RP and how characters work is going to be a serious challenge. SS13 is a game where dying is a part of playing, you're going to get killed from time to time, by antags or environment, or maybe your own boneheaded mistakes. If my engineer touches the supermatter and turns to ash, what then? How do we justify character death among other phenomenon that is usually fixed by the changing of rounds and deeming rounds as "non-canon" when heavily antag influenced?


The more I think about it, the more it seems like a bad idea. Persistence, specifically. I'm going to give a thumbs down on total persistence (economic persistence might be okay). That said, I think anything is possible and Skull is a smarter lad then I so maybe you guys will come up with something great in a year down the line and blow me away. In any event I look forward to seeing how it goes, I just hope it doesn't go poorly.

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I've enjoyed Persistence in the past when done right, and while I enjoy the current system, I would love to see how it affects new rounds.


The only problem I can see are the antagonists.


Would antagonists permanently kill players, either the players die themselves for being antagonists and being captured/killed or the players killed by the antagonists stay dead? What about destruction of colony pieces, how do we explain that away? Or is everything canon?


Also, to talk about the ship: I think it'd actually work better like the Crew Transfer, where it's a ship you build your colony off of, and then leave on when the month is up.

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only thing i am really worried about is a lot of effort being put into this and it not really working out. Which would put us in an awkward limbo of pushing through and making it work or reverting back to what we have now. A risk im willing to take though and it might not even play out that way. The game is just ooooooooold we can rebuild it. we have the technology. Specifically the admin ability to rollback specific areas of the map would be REALLY REALLY AMAZING!

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only thing i am really worried about is a lot of effort being put into this and it not really working out. Which would put us in an awkward limbo of pushing through and making it work or reverting back to what we have now. A risk im willing to take though and it might not even play out that way. The game is just ooooooooold we can rebuild it. we have the technology. Specifically the admin ability to rollback specific areas of the map would be REALLY REALLY AMAZING!

 

This, and with guidelines regulating when a section can be reverted. Defining the difference between destroyed but serviceable and completely destroyed will be important, and a major administrative choice.

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I am worried that this change will push mechanical gameplay into the foreground and potentially perpetuate an already strained HRP atmosphere. The persistence of antags and manner in which they will be dealt with is perhaps THE determining factor for whether this project will face difficulties in culture; even though it may not have yet been decided and may be early you have to before you can expect confidence in the project. At least a sure direction that antagonist features will be heading is the difference between this server carving out its own niche, and this server becoming a clone of either colonial marines or persistence.

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only thing i am really worried about is a lot of effort being put into this and it not really working out. Which would put us in an awkward limbo of pushing through and making it work or reverting back to what we have now. A risk im willing to take though and it might not even play out that way. The game is just ooooooooold we can rebuild it. we have the technology. Specifically the admin ability to rollback specific areas of the map would be REALLY REALLY AMAZING!

 

Well, if you look at the mechanics list. A lot of these work as standalone mechanics. We'd primarily lose out on the persistence mechanics.


The antag, construction, terrain generators can all remain even if we go back to a static deal.

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It's my personal hope that the exterior areas of the colony will still be space-like in the way that mining out on the asteroid currently is. That's a very cool and tense environment because of all the little details that demand your attention if you want to stay safe. Oxygen levels, suit damage, environmental threats, routes back to safety, communication options, etc.


In addition, it would immediately confer that complexity onto construction efforts, since structures would need to be built in the vacuum (or maybe it's not vacuum - maybe it's poison air or something new like that!)

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I'm on the fence about this. On one hand, I like the concept. On the other hand, given the large player base... I like the idea of a persistent map, but I don't think it would work in long term. How would rollbacks work? Would the server shut down until an admin can decide for it to be rolled back? Will we be able to beta test this on a public testing server, to give better feedback? Are antagonists persistent?


I don't want to be too harsh but I do think this project should go back to the drawing board until the specifics are decided upon and/or have something concrete to present.

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How would rollbacks work? Would the server shut down until an admin can decide for it to be rolled back?

Will we be able to beta test this on a public testing server, to give better feedback?

Are antagonists persistent?

 

There will definitly be no shutdown of the server involved when rolling back the map.

Ideally the admins will get a button that allows them to just stop persisting changes to the map made / set a older version as "boot-version" -> So that once the next round starts the specified state is loaded.


Changing the map during the current round (rolling back changes) is not needed and not a goal as antagonist action during a round should definitely have consequences, these actions just should not persist.


Regarding antagonists:

Antagonists will definitely be a thing, however there wont be persistent antagonist chars (as in the player can set the faction of his char to "syndicate" and they will always be a traitor)

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This is probably adding more to your plate, but I would really super like it if during full resets we could get a new 'biome' for the base.


Instead of it always being on an airless asteroid, maybe we could have a swamp base. Arctic base. Jungle base. Different challenges and hazards (clearing trees/mires/snow/ice, dealing with temperatures and disease) for each that persist for the month before the 'full reset'. This would affect race play too: Unathi would really struggle on the arctic base but tajarans would hate life on jungle base, for instance.


I also highly suggest reworking a lot of regulations during the transition from 'corporate station' to 'colony'. Just as an example off the top of my head, chill the fuck out on dress code (within reason) and potentially think about removing stuff like the IAA entirely.

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So now that we are going persistant, I have one quick question. Can multiple characters still have one job, but work shifts at different times? Or is it just one player the entire time?

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I am going to place my two cents in.


Could we have two separate servers? Perhaps this colony base builder may be placed far into the frontier as NT lore wise looks to expand and the Aurora is kept floating in space.


The persistence is a good idea, but people will sometimes wish to return to the standard style of the game. It would also allow a new set of characters for everyone to make. How would cryo work?

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I'm pretty sure we don't have a large enough playerbase to warrant (/survive) splitting into two servers

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I like this, I play engineering roles a lot and I love the derelict areas of the station that I can refurbish.
But, what gets stale very fast is doing this every round, it only existing for 10 minutes, and then the shuttle arrives before anyone notices it.
I'd love to be able to construct areas to my design in ways that benefit the crew, and be there for them to appreciate that over a longer period.

I have a suggestion though, is that if the station isn't completely destroyed at the end of the colonisation period, then we could have a very destructive custom event. Could be fun to have something to look forward to every now and again.

Good luck!
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